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? >> jeff, thank you very much. >>> ten days after the connecticut school shooting, the debate over gun control continues after the national rifle association took questions for the first time since newtown. america's largest gun rights group says we don't need new laws. chip reid is in washington with that story. chip, good morning. >> reporter: good morning, jeff. the national rifle association was silent in the days following the tragedy in newtown. now it's speaking out and reigniteing an explosive debate over gun control. the nra says it will not budge from its longtime opposition to gun control, insisting the only thing that will stop school shootings is armed guards. >> if it's crazy to call for putting police and armed security in our school to protect our children, then call me crazy. i think the american people think it's crazy not to do it. it's the one thing that would keep people safe and the nra is going to try to do that. >> reporter: nra president david kean added that banning particular guns simply doesn't work. >> we had a so-called assault weapon
and the need to spend on the home whether it was the tragedy in connecticut and took away the feel-good factor it was a confluence of events that led to a should have been better holiday season. >> reporter: in the densely populated northeast, where more than a fifth of the country's retail sales take place, homeowners hit hard by hurricane sandy spent more money on repairs than on holiday gifts. also dragging down sales was uncertainty about the fiscal cliff, tax hikes and spending cuts set to take effect next year. if lawmakers don't reach a deal to avoid it consumers could see higher taxes eating into their paychecks. even online sales suffered compared to past years of double-digit growth this year online holiday sales rose only about 8% compared to nearly 16% last year. lack of consumer confidence means this shopping season could be the weakest since the recession in 2008 when sales actually shrank. >> consumers need to have more confidence. right now it's more of an uncertain way for the first half of 2013 so i think everyone has thought going into the y
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